Optimum Finance team set up fintech to ‘turn small firms’ late-payment misery on its head’

April 29, 2022

A Bristol fintech start-up has opened its doors with a mission to help businesses improve cashflow, strengthen supply chain relationships and have more certainty over their payments.

Through a series of innovative new products and a different way of thinking, Saltare – which means ‘to leap’ in Italian – is looking to make transformational change in how payments are made and received. 

A side project of Bristol-based SME finance business Optimum Finance, it is developing digitally based tools to encourage larger organisations to get money into the hands of their smaller suppliers more quickly while benefiting directly by doing so through discounts and other preferential terms.

Saltare founder and chief executive Anthony Persse, pictured, who is Optimum’s CEO, said the firm was born out of the knowledge that 82% of UK businesses fail not because of lack of profit, but lack of cash.

Yet, recent studies suggest UK SMEs are waiting on almost £200bn tied up in unpaid invoices.

He believes the key to unlocking these payments rests in incentivising larger organisations to pay early – and in giving them the tools and reasons for doing so.

By re-examining the customer/supplier relationship, he believes the late payment conversation can be turned on its head.

“British business needs to be much more disruptive in its thinking if we are to make real, meaningful change,” he said.

“By shifting the debate away from the negative commentary around ‘late payment’ and moving it towards a more positive conversation about ‘early payment’, we will do much more than simply improve payment performance.

“We will help create more jobs, deliver greater levels of investment and generate deeper social value with long-term sustainability at a time when the country needs it most.”

The catalyst for this change will be a suite of products that use intuitive, mobile-led tech to enable buyers to manage their entire supply chain in a way that works for them and their key suppliers – giving all parties greater choice, convenience, certainty and transparency.

The tools Saltare is developing will especially look to address the needs of some of the more challenging sectors and industries, where big businesses or organisations have an extended supply chain.

These range from public sector and local authority bodies through to retail and construction.

Anthony said good businesses can easily fail if they do not have cash.

“Our mission is to develop a series of tools that bring the certainty of payment, and the certainty of cashflow, that support both ends of the supply chain,” he added.

“Bigger than this, our mission is to change the mind-set of businesses once and for all, to embrace a new approach that is simple to make, and yet will have positive consequences for future generations.”

Saltare, which is based at Optimum Finance’s office at the Cube M4 Business Park, Hambrook, will announce a number of new senior appointments across its sales and marketing teams in the coming weeks to support its launch.

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